Home News French Open 2023 results: Novak Djokovic beats Casper Ruud to win Paris title and claim 23rd major

French Open 2023 results: Novak Djokovic beats Casper Ruud to win Paris title and claim 23rd major

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French Open 2023

French Open 2023: Novak Djokovic Defeats Casper Ruud, Claims 23rd Major Title

Novak Djokovic showcased his exceptional skills once again as he overcame a challenging start to secure his record-breaking 23rd Grand Slam title at the French Open final against Norway’s Casper Ruud.

Despite a slow start, the 36-year-old Serb displayed his brilliance in a first-set tie-break, laying the foundation for his 7-6 (7-1), 6-3, 7-5 victory.

With this win, Djokovic surpasses Rafael Nadal to become the outright leader in men’s major titles.

Furthermore, Djokovic has become the first male player to win each of the four majors at least three times.

His triumph on the clay courts of Paris brings him on par with Serena Williams in terms of Grand Slam titles, with only Margaret Court ahead of him with 24 majors.

Expressing his gratitude, Djokovic said, “I consider myself beyond fortunate to have won 23 Grand Slams in my life. It is an incredible achievement. As a seven-year-old, I dreamed of winning Wimbledon and becoming the world number one. I am immensely grateful and blessed to be standing here today. I believe that I had the power to shape my own destiny, and I want to tell every young person that if they aspire to a better future, they can create it.”

Shortly after Djokovic’s victory, Nadal paid tribute to his long-time rival, congratulating him on this remarkable feat. “Many congratulations on this amazing achievement. A few years ago, the number 23 seemed unimaginable, but you made it possible,” wrote the Spaniard.

Djokovic will now have the opportunity to equal Margaret Court’s record at Wimbledon next month. With seven previous Wimbledon victories, he is the favorite to match Roger Federer’s record of 20 men’s titles.

In a moment of sheer jubilation, Djokovic fell to the ground in celebration as Ruud’s forehand went wide on the second championship point. He then rushed to his support box, where he celebrated with coach Goran Ivanisevic, wife Jelena, their two children, parents Dijana and Srdjan, and NFL superstar Tom Brady.

This victory also marks Djokovic’s return to the top of the world rankings.

Although fourth seed Casper Ruud commended Djokovic on “another day, another record,” he acknowledged the Serb’s greatness, stating, “It is tough to explain how great you are and what an inspiration you are.”

For Djokovic, this win represents the fulfillment of his ambitions to surpass Nadal and Federer in major titles. After tying them with 20 victories at Wimbledon in 2021, he fell behind Nadal due to missing the 2022 Australian Open. However, Djokovic surged ahead by winning three of the last four Grand Slam tournaments.

Even before Nadal’s withdrawal from this year’s French Open due to injury, Djokovic was considered the favorite, despite his own physical setbacks during the tournament.

Djokovic’s nerves were evident in the early stages of the final against 24-year-old Ruud. Facing a 4-2 deficit in the first set, Djokovic made several unforced errors as Ruud pushed him to his limits. However, as the set progressed, Djokovic grew in confidence and eventually dominated the tie-break, leaving no doubt about the likely outcome.

Following a relatively swift 48-minute second set, the third set remained closely contested until Djokovic applied pressure during a critical moment. With a stunning backhand winner, he quickly put Ruud on the defensive. The Norwegian made an error, and two more exceptional winners from Djokovic set him up to serve for the championship.

Djokovic swiftly took a commanding 40-0 lead, and although he faltered with a forehand error on the first championship point, he sealed his place in history on the next attempt.

In his pursuit of his first major title, Casper Ruud had previously suffered defeat at Roland Garros and the US Open. Despite the disappointment, the world number four believes his second consecutive French Open final appearance demonstrates that he is not a one-time phenomenon. He expressed his ambition to continue working towards his dream of winning a Slam title one day.

The tennis world reacted to Djokovic’s record-breaking 23rd major title, with Carlos Alcaraz, whom Djokovic replaced as the world number one, offering his congratulations on Twitter. American tennis legend Billie Jean King also took to Twitter to celebrate Djokovic’s victory, highlighting his new record of 23 Grand Slam singles titles.

Former British number one Greg Rusedski remarked on BBC Radio 5 Live that Djokovic’s recent success, having won the first two majors of the year, could potentially lead to a calendar Slam. Rusedski praised Djokovic’s exceptional achievements and stated that no one currently seems capable of stopping him.

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